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Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas of Kerala High Court denied the bail request  submitted by Laila Bhagawal Singh, who is one of the three individuals accused in  the case. 

Highlighting the effect of the offense on societal harmony, the Court stressed that  granting her release might convey an incorrect message to individuals with similar  criminal inclinations. Consequently, the Court rejected the plea and instructed the  

trial court to expedite the proceedings without any unnecessary delays. The  statement also mentioned that should the accusations against Laila be  substantiated, it would negatively impact the cultural legacy and educational  achievements of Kerala, often referred to as God’s Own Country. 

Apart from her, the remaining two individuals facing charges are Bhagawal Singh,  who is not only her husband but also a massage therapist, and Mohammed Shafi,  who has a history of criminal activities. 

Brief of the case 

In early October 2022, reports surfaced regarding the murder of two women,  purportedly as part of a human sacrifice ritual, in the State. The dismembered  bodies of the victims were discovered in Thiruvalla, located in the Pathanamthitta  district. The women, who were lottery ticket sellers in Ernakulam district, fell  victim to the heinous crime. 

Within the same week, three individuals were apprehended in connection with the  incident. Muhammed Shafi was arrested by the police, accused of orchestrating the  abduction and committing the sacrificial murder. Another couple, Bhagawal Singh  and Laila Bhagawal Singh, were also taken into custody under suspicion of having  commissioned and participated in the ritualistic murder. 

As per the remand report, Roslin was convinced by the main accused, Shafi, who  promised her Rs 10 lakh to participate in a pornographic film and took her to the  location of the crime. The report also indicated that it was Laila who committed the  murder. Padma, who went missing in September, was enticed to the couple’s  residence by Shafi with an offer of Rs 15,000 for sexual services, as mentioned in 

the report. During the investigation into Padma’s disappearance, the police  discovered Shafi’s involvement, leading them to the couple. It was only at this  point that the police became aware of the June murder of Roslin by the trio. 

Initially, all three accused were placed in judicial custody, which was later  followed by a 12-day period of police custody. 

In November, Judicial First-Class Magistrate-VIII at Ernakulam, Eldos Mathew,  declined to approve bail for Laila. He supported the prosecution’s argument that the  extraordinary nature of the crime suggested careful planning, necessitating a  comprehensive investigation. 

Later, when Laila sought bail from the High Court in January of this year, her  request was once again denied. Subsequently, she submitted a second bail  application to the High Court, which was rejected today. 

Justice Sophy Thomas while giving the judgement said that “Here is a case which  has shattered the conscience of society as a whole and it is a shame to the entire  humanity. The allegations will show that wickedness and cruelty of the human  mind has gone beyond any proportions. If the allegations are found to be true, it  will be a heavy blow on the rich cultural heritage and cent percent literacy boasted  by Kerala the ‘God’s own country’. Moreover, if the allegations are proved, the  accused persons, either male or female, do not worth the name ‘human being’. If  the petitioner is released on bail, it will affect the societal peace and tranquility  and her presence in society itself will be a source of danger. Moreover, her release  may be a black mark in the conscience of the society, and it may send a wrong  message to like-minded criminals. So, this Court is not inclined to allow this  petition for bail filed by A3.” 

Case Title- Laila Bhagawal Singh v. State of Kerala 

Anshra Zafar, a B.A.LLB (Hons) student at IILM University, Greater Noida, 4th  Semester. An intern under Legal Vidhiya

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